Manny to begin Minors stint on Tuesday

Manny to start in Minors on Tuesday

ANAHEIM -- Suspended outfielder Manny Ramirez agreed to start a Minor League rehab assignment Tuesday night at Triple-A Albuquerque, Dodgers manager Joe Torre announced Saturday.

Ramirez was suspended on May 7 for 50 games after violating the Major League Baseball drug policy. Club management is hoping he will play three games in Albuquerque, take a day off to travel to California, then resume the Minor League assignment with four games for Class A Inland Empire in final preparation for his return to the Dodgers lineup July 3.

Torre said he did not know Ramirez's plans beyond reporting for Tuesday's game.

"The only thing I know for sure is that he agreed to be there," he said.

Torre said he believes that Ramirez would benefit by seeing Minor League game action before returning from the suspension. The drug policy allows for a 10-game transitional Minor League assignment -- but only with the player's consent.

"It's just a matter of competing," he said. "Do I think he could play without embarrassing himself? Yes. But it's best just to play games and get acclimated. I think that's important. He doesn't need to put up numbers."

Ramirez has been working out at Dodger Stadium for nearly a month. But the club is wary of Ramirez's hamstring muscles, which turned 37 during the suspension and gave him trouble when he signed late, tried to rush his Spring Training regimen and had to be shelved for more than a week of exhibition games.

Torre also said Ramirez was grazed by a pitch from a Dodgers farmhand during Saturday morning workouts at Dodger Stadium.

"He was hit on the left hand by a breaking ball," said Torre. "The e-mail said it was nothing, but it should be reported. I asked [bullpen catcher Rob Flippo], who was there, and he said it was nothing."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.